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Star Wars Tales #15
Star Wars Tales #15 (Photo Cover)

Cover: Leinil Francis Yu
Editor: Dave Land
Released: 03/19/2003

Reviewed by: Scott Chitwood (03/23/2003)
[Read Mike Cooper's review]

SUMMARY:

This 64 page comic features six short stories set outside the established Star Wars continuity (i.e. they never happened):


[art cover]


[photo cover]


"Sandstorm"
Story: Jason Hall
Pencils: Sunny Lee
Inks: Randy Emberlin
Lettering: Steve Dutro
Coloring: Digital Chameleon

SUMMARY
When Uncle Owens gets angry at young Luke Skywalker for asking about his father, Luke runs away from home into the Tatooine desert. There he encounters a vision of young Annie Skywalker. The two face the dangers of the desert together. Little does Luke know it is the father he longs to know about.

THE STORY
This is a cute little story where characters from the classic trilogy and the prequels meet. It's fun to see how Anakin and Luke have so much in common. It's also interesting to see how Owen related to Luke in the early days.

THE ART
I like Sunny Lee's style of artwork. The characters look just like their movie versions. Annie is particularly well drawn. Lee makes Tatooine look desolate and it's wildlife look fierce. Unfortunately we have yet more versions of Krayt Dragons and womp rats.


"First Impressions"
Story: Nathan Walker
Pencils: Kilian Plunkett
Inks: Kilian Plunkett
Lettering: Steve Dutro
Coloring: Dave Nestelle

SUMMARY
Senator Bail Organa takes Leia to Coruscant for the first time. There she gets her first glimpses of the cruelty of the Empire. She plans to give the Emperor a piece of her mind...until she sees his evil visage face to face.

THE STORY
This is yet another story where we see prequel characters meet classic trilogy characters. This time around we see Bail Organa from Episode II and young Princess Leia. This is a particularly noteworthy story because it marks Leia's first trip to Coruscant (a planet she'd later rule) and her first meeting with the Emperor. Ironically, it shows her first encounter with Darth Vader. It's interesting to see how Bail Organa operates under the rule of someone he obviously despises. He also teaches Leia how to hide her feelings and operate under such evil. This story also shows the Caamasi, characters important to the New Jedi Order novels.

THE ART
Kilian Plunkett has a great talent for drawing the environments and machinery of the Star Wars Universe. Everything looks dirty and used as it was supposed to in the classic trilogy. He also does good depictions of Bail Organa, the Emperor, Darth Vader, and young Leia. I also thought he did a nice interpretation of the Caamasi, a creature so far appearing only in the books. The coolest scene has to be in the Grand Reception Hall of the Imperial Palace. It's quite menacing, yet a great cross between the prequel era Coruscant and the Imperial Coruscant.


"Falling Star"
Story: Jim Beard
Pencils: Todd Nauck
Inks: Jamie Mendoza
Lettering: Digital Chameleon
Coloring: Matthew Anthony
Editor: Jeremy Barlow

SUMMARY
Luke and Biggs sneak away from home to take a quick joy ride on a shuttle headed to Tatooine's moon base. This will be Luke's first trip into space. However, mechanical problems not only threaten to cancel the trip, but cause the shuttle to crash. It's up to Luke to save the day.

THE STORY
Continuing the theme of "firsts", this story marks Luke's first attempted trip into space. Jim Beard does an excellent job emphasising Luke's entuhsiasm for such a trip and his desperate need for a more adventurous life. This story also does a good job of highlighting Luke and Biggs' friendship.

THE ART
Todd Nauck draws his art with a definite manga feel to it. It works well for a young Luke and Biggs. The addition of Owen's swoop bike was also a nice touch.


"Do Or Do Not"
Story: Jay Laird
Pencils: Timothy II
Inks: Timothy II
Lettering: Steve Dutro
Coloring: James Mason

SUMMARY
On Endor, Luke comes to terms with the fact that the woman he loved has turned out to be his sister.

THE STORY
Nobody likes to talk about how Luke kissed his own sister, but this short story briefly touches on that matter. After all, if Luke loved Leia, getting over the shock of her being his sister would take a little time. This story even plants the seeds of Luke wanting to train Han and Leia's future children. However, I'm not quite sure why the spirit of Yoda appears at the end.

THE ART
This story is so brief, so there's not much art to it. Leia is drawn in an interesting style with practically no nose. Luke looks a little goofy for my tastes. The artwork isn't bad, but I'd like to see Timothy II's work on a different story.


"Slippery Slope"
Story: Scott Lobdell
Pencils: Sean Murphy
Inks: Sean Murphy
Lettering: Steve Dutro
Coloring: Dan Jackson

SUMMARY
While Luke trains on Dagobah with Yoda, a bounty hunter arrives to capture him and take him to the Empire. This bounty hunter is different, though. He's a rickety old droid.

THE STORY
This cool story shows Luke becoming a master of the Force on Dagobah. It's unclear to many readers just how long Luke stayed on Dagobah during The Empire Strikes Back, but it was a significant amount of time and this story takes place during it. We see Luke perform amazing stunts and even show restraint against a hostile droid bounty hunter. Is it part of his trials? Only Yoda knows.

THE ART
Sean Murphy's artwork is some of the most stylized of this whole issue, but it looks great. The use of shadows adds a dramatic feel to the look and the action is aided by the design. Murphy uses a nice mixture of close ups and long shots to give you the best perspective of what's going on. His droid bounty hunter is also a unique droid design. Overall, great artwork.


"Lucky Stars"
Story: Brian Augustyn
Pencils: Paco Medina
Inks: Joe Sanchez
Lettering: Steve Dutro
Coloring: Michelle Masden

SUMMARY
Leia and a group of female Rebel agents arrive on a gambling planet. They must steal back a listing of main Rebel bases before a gangster sells it to the Empire. It takes all their feminine talents to pull off the mission.

THE STORY
This story is like Leia teaming up with Charlie's Angels. Together the four butt kicking babes take on the bad guys. It's interesting to see these tough, independent women use their feminine wiles to accomplish the mission.

THE ART
Paco Medina not only creates four sexy new female Rebels, but he draws one of the sexiest versions of Leia in the comics. Ironically, she wears a red dress while a wolf-like alien tries to woo her. Little Red Rdining Hood, anyone? It was a nice touch. The wolf is a bit too cartoony compared to the rest of the characters, but overall the story has a good look and feel. It's some of the better artwork this issue.


CONCLUSIONS

While none of the stories were bad, this whole issue is weaker than some of the Tales issues. Maybe it's the lack of variety in characters, but this issue didn't have the WOW! factor of some of the issues. I must also add that the photo cover of this issue is horrific. The orange color has burned into my eyes. $6 is also a bit high for this issue.

Rating: 7 / 10 Recommended

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